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Carol Vorderman has called on the women’s minister to resign after she could not ‘be bothered to turn up’ to a committee hearing about the menopause – but the politician has accused the TV presenter of not dealing in facts.

Maria Caulfield took to Twitter a day after the Women and Equalities Committee session to say she had been unable to attend as she was with campaigners at a meeting ‘which had been in the diary for months’.

The MP for Lewes, who is also minister for women’s health strategy, tweeted that she was ‘not a punch bag’ and said anyone who posted ‘misleading information’ about her would be blocked on the social media platform.

Former Countdown star Ms Vorderman posted a screenshot on Twitter indicating she had been blocked by the Government minister, and wrote: ‘Women’s Health Minister @mariacaulfield (also Mental Health minister) who was caught fibbing about a letter she had supposedly sent to excuse the fact she couldn’t be bothered to turn up to the Select Committee yday.

‘Well she’s blocked me. Maria, show some respect & RESIGN.’

Carol Vorderman has called on the women's minister to resign after she could not 'be bothered to turn up' to a committee hearing about the menopause - but the politician has accused the TV presenter of not dealing in facts (Ms Vorderman is pictured at the Women and Equalities Committee on Wednesday)

Carol Vorderman has called on the women’s minister to resign after she could not ‘be bothered to turn up’ to a committee hearing about the menopause – but the politician has accused the TV presenter of not dealing in facts (Ms Vorderman is pictured at the Women and Equalities Committee on Wednesday)

When challenged by another Twitter user about blocking Ms Vorderman, Ms Caulfield replied: ‘She hasn’t pointed out facts.

‘I couldn’t attend yesterday as I was seeing women campaigners against painful hysteroscopy which had been in the diary for months. I have given alternative dates to the committee and they are the facts.’

The committee said it had invited Ms Caulfield to appear before members to discuss the Government’s plans for action on menopause in the workplace ‘but the minister refused the invitation’.

It is understood the committee received a response from the minister on the dates she was available only after the letter they wrote to her, dated March 10, was posted on Twitter on March 17.

The committee is believed to have contacted her a number of times before that to get a date agreed for a hearing.

Committee chairwoman Caroline Nokes confirmed at the end of Wednesday’s session that Ms Caulfield is expected to appear for a hearing in June.

Earlier during the session both Ms Vorderman and fellow presenter Mariella Frostrup expressed their annoyance at Ms Caulfield not being ‘bothered to turn up’. 

Ms Vorderman said she had seen Ms Caulfield ‘having a cup of tea’ in Portcullis House that day, adding ‘that’s not much of an example, is it?’

Frostrup told the MPs the current situation on menopause and women’s rights in the workplace feels like ‘treading water which is only heightened by the fact that the minister can’t be bothered to turn up’.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt rejected calls from Labour for Ms Caulfield to apologise for not attending the committee hearing and cited the minister’s prior commitment.

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She told business questions in the chamber: ‘It is deeply ironic, especially in the wake of International Women’s Day when we all used hashtag ‘#AskHerToStand’ and want to support working women, that we are so quick to paint an incorrect picture about our female colleagues in this place. I think it is shocking.’

Ms Mordaunt added: ‘She does not need to apologise in any way to people in this House.’ 

On Wednesday, Ms Vorderman tore into two Government ministers during a furious rant in front of MPs, claiming she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by the pair of them.

Former Countdown star Ms Vorderman posted a screenshot on Twitter indicating she had been blocked by the Government minister, and wrote: ''Well she's blocked me. Maria, show some respect & RESIGN.'

Former Countdown star Ms Vorderman posted a screenshot on Twitter indicating she had been blocked by the Government minister, and wrote: ”Well she’s blocked me. Maria, show some respect & RESIGN.’

The MP for Lewes, who is also minister for women's health strategy, tweeted that she was 'not a punch bag' and said anyone who posted 'misleading information' about her would be blocked on the social media platform

The MP for Lewes, who is also minister for women’s health strategy, tweeted that she was ‘not a punch bag’ and said anyone who posted ‘misleading information’ about her would be blocked on the social media platform

When challenged by another Twitter user about blocking Ms Vorderman, Ms Caulfield replied: 'She hasn't pointed out facts'

When challenged by another Twitter user about blocking Ms Vorderman, Ms Caulfield replied: ‘She hasn’t pointed out facts’

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Vorderman also appeared on ITV's This Morning to discuss her appearance on the committee. In the studio, presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield invited viewers to call in and share their experiences about the menopause in the workplace

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Vorderman also appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss her appearance on the committee. In the studio, presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield invited viewers to call in and share their experiences about the menopause in the workplace

Within minutes of taking stand to discuss menopause in the workplace, the TV star criticised Kemi Badenoch for comparing ‘women going through terrible, terrible menopausal symptoms with those with ginger hair’.

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Ms Badenoch, No10’s equalities minister, last month dismissed suggestions that the menopause should be given a special legally protected status.

She stated the menopause was on a list of characteristics campaigners had claimed should be written into the Equality Act, just like ‘having ginger hair’ or ‘being short’ and that a menopause leave pilot for women was being proposed from ‘a leftwing perspective’. 

Ms Vorderman, patron of campaign group Menopause Mandate, said the comments made to the Women and Equalities Committee were ‘patronising’ and ‘insulting to all women’.

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